From law school to launching a multi-unit operation: Nathan Berns and Matt Rose 

Written by Katie Peterson

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In the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchising system we’ve seen our fair share of success stories. Franchising with us is an opportunity for so many individuals to further their careers and create growth in their lives and the lives of people around them. That’s exactly what Nathan Berns and Matt Rose have accomplished in their short time being TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® multi-unit franchisees.

Matt and Nathan’s story started back in law school at the University of Iowa, College of Law, when they sat next to each other in the same property law class. After getting to know one another they quickly realized they had a lot in common. Both Matt and Nathan grew up in small towns in the Midwest, had farming backgrounds, and best of all, found themselves with more of a passion for business than law. Soon after their initial meeting, the two became roommates and ended up meeting their future wives around the same time, making the two inseparable.

“I think Nathan and I would have been good friends no matter what, but the fact that our wives are good friends and our kids are good friends really makes us more like family,” says Matt.

The decision to become franchisees together began with Nathan convincing Matt that owning a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise was a good investment.

“After he was persuaded, we spent a considerable amount of time investigating the best territories. We searched all over the country since Matt was willing to relocate anywhere. Eventually we decided on the east coast because Matt’s wife had contacts in the area,” recalls Nathan.

Matt remembers making the decision based on the business opportunity as well as the opportunity it presented for his family.

“We decided that Maryland offered a promising business opportunity and it was a great place for my family and I to put down roots. Maryland feels like home and I am enjoying watching our vision come together,” said Matt.

When the pair opened their first franchise together in Maryland November of 2014, it was a one office, five-truck operation. In less than two years, they have expanded to four franchises and 21 trucks. The Maryland franchises have experienced rapid growth while maintaining their 96% customer satisfaction rating; this is in addition to Berns’ Cedar Rapids location growing 300% since being purchased in 2012.

Matt and Nathan remain humble and can’t take all the credit for the executive success. In March 2016, Matt’s wife, Bekah, was added to the franchise agreement. Bekah, who also graduated from the University of Iowa, College of Law in 2010 where she and Matt met, is now a franchisee for all five of the Maryland franchises. With the central role Bekah has played in the business, Matt describes the addition as absolutely necessary to formally recognize her role in the business since its launch.

“Initially, the plan was for Bekah to help the business get off the ground by helping out where necessary, but that quickly changed as the business grew so rapidly. Bekah has been an integral part of our operation from the beginning and has always been a part of any business decisions we have made,” said Matt.

As Nathan and Matt reflect, they are happy to offer their advice regarding what has contributed to their success as franchisees and as business owners in general.

“Successful organizations understand people make mistakes. We know our people can’t truly maximize their potential if they are burdened by potential mistake retribution. Most people value positive encouragement above financial reward,” said Nathan. “Praise your employees, especially during the tough times. If you think hard enough, you can find something positive to say about most situations.”

Matt agrees that there are many strategies towards business success, most of which start on the ground with their employee satisfaction and work ethic.

“When employees see their peers advancing and excelling, it drives most of our employees to improve every day. Our managers are able to better motivate and relate to their employees since the managers were in those same spots not long ago. Additionally, we make a deliberate effort to understand our employees’ situations and be compassionate,” said Matt. “We want to ensure all of our employees feel valued and respected, by taking time to get to know them and learn about their aspirations. With a job this demanding, it is very easy to focus only on areas that need improvement, overlooking all of the positive achievements happening around you. Make it a priority to celebrate the small victories, for yourself, and your team.”

With Matt, Nathan, and Bekah in the front seat, the Maryland franchises have seen enormous growth and success in a short amount of time. Their dedication is exemplary of what franchisees are able to achieve in the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise system with hard work and a passion for the brand. We look forward to seeing the growth and success that is sure to come to Maryland in the future. Congratulations, Matt and Nathan, on being our featured franchisees!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today! Visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to learn more.

People make the brand: Who’s franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Written by Jessy Howe

In 2015, the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system experienced a record-breaking year concluding with 72 months of record growth and more than $400 million in revenue. Through providing outstanding customer service resulting in a more than 95% referral rate, we’ve continued to grow and set ourselves apart from others in this space.

Over the next four years, the moving industry is predicted to grow and evolve substantially. We expect a similar upward trend and to continue evolving while keeping a keen eye on meeting the needs of our home and business customers. No matter the size or distance, we want to be the preferred mover with a professional team customers can count on for a stress-free, efficient moving experience. With a vision and a franchise system that is committed to Moving People Forward®, our customers can trust we will be here to meet their unique needs.

As we continue to expand, we rely heavily on our people to successfully move the brand forward as a system of one. In 2016, we will hire more than 9,000 employees in total and sign on 30 new locations. Having been named as one of Forbes 2016 Best Franchises to Buy, we are excited for this significant year ahead.

The infographic below illustrates our growth and breaks down who is franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®!

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TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company. There are currently 349 U.S. locations and 35 internationally between Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. We are proud to have 2,586 trucks and 6,545 system employees helping to complete two moves per minute on average! Each location is independently owned and operated.

For more information or to learn about opportunities in becoming a franchisee at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®, visit franchise.twomenandatruck.com to begin moving your career forward!

How a former Navy aviation electronics technician became a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee

Written by Jessy Howe

After graduating high school, Michael Sham joined the Navy where he served for six years as an aviation electronics technician (AT). During this time he worked on S-3B Vikings and P-3 Orions in San Diego, Calif., and Jacksonville, Fla. His duties included working on tactical air navigation (TACAN), radios, radar, instrument landing system (ILS), and other electronic devices in the aircraft. At the young age of 19, Sham was given a great deal of responsibility, sometimes giving orders to men twice his age.

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“It certainly prepared me to be a leader and taught me how to be ready for anything that may come up,” said Sham. “There were so many different types of personalities in the military that it made me a better people person.”

Prior to joining TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in 2013, he attended Belhaven University and earned a degree in exercise physiology. While pursuing his dream of becoming a strength and conditioning coach, which would allow him to train athletes, he ran a small moving company.

After working as a mover for two months, Sham took on the role of general manager at the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Jackson, Miss., franchise and truly launched his career within the system. As a participant in the first-ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program, he and seven other managers across the system dedicated one year of extensive training to further enhance their knowledge of the inner workings of the franchising system, and ultimately lay the foundation for them in becoming a successful franchisee. As a result, Sham was awarded $10,000 to go toward opening his own franchise.

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“The scholarship program taught me what it takes to get a successful new franchise off the ground. There is a lot that goes into getting an operation up and running and all the bases were covered in the program,” said Sham. “The relationships that were built during the program with Home Office and other franchisees and managers are invaluable. A lot of what I learned, I was able to implement at my current franchise.”

Sham plans to open his new franchise in Southaven, Miss., May 2016 alongside Jackson, Miss., Franchisees Jeff Taylor and Jack Christopher.

“Michael has been a successful manager and is a shining example of the hard work and development that leads to success in our system. We are blessed as Michael moves forward to ownership and the great things he will accomplish,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CFO Jeff Wesley.

“I’m so thankful to have been brought on by my partners to live the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® dream,” said Sham. “I never imagined that one day I would be a small business owner.”

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Visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com to learn more about franchising opportunities. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today!

Air Force veteran joins TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® after nearly 12 years of service

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Born and raised in central Illinois, Jeremy Brown grew up on a farm and has a deeply rooted agricultural heritage. He initially attended the University of Illinois to study and carry on that farming tradition but soon realized his fondness for flying airplanes trumped all others. He packed his bags and headed to Daytona Beach, Fla., to attend Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and pursue a career in commercial aviation. Unfortunately, due to the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, the entire aviation industry changed overnight. He returned home to Illinois and turned to the military, hoping he might still someday have the opportunity to fly.

In 2003, Brown enlisted in the Air Force and was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana where he was responsible for supervising in-shop maintenance on equipment which supported 200 nuclear launch facilities and 23 missile alert facilities. Here he was prepared to transition to the officer corps and made the official switch in 2006. Brown spent nearly two years in Oklahoma going through Undergraduate Pilot Training and then moved to Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii as a C-17A Aircraft Commander. In addition to his responsibilities as a pilot, he supervised a seven-member team that supported all administrative functions for a 120-member squadron. He earned numerous flying and military distinctions including two Air Medals for his efforts in Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom.

In 2012, Brown was reassigned to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware as a Wing Executive Officer and C-17A Instructor Pilot. Unfortunately soon after being reassigned, he was medically disqualified from flying and would have to change careers. Although being an air force officer and remaining in the military was his primary focus, his MBA studies triggered interests in opportunities which extended outside the walls of the air force. These interests, coupled with his love for real estate, led him to acquire his real estate license.

Brown later made the decision to officially separate from the active duty air force and put all of his efforts into real estate and working on his MBA with an emphasis in entrepreneurship.

With an ever-present entrepreneurial mind-set, a new career plan unfolding, and a transition to civilian life, Brown began researching business and franchise opportunities when he found TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. Inquiring about what opportunities were available to him and appreciating the business model of the brand, Brown soon signed to become franchisee for the Dover, Del., location.

“The Air Force was a great organization to be a part of and I think I could paint a correlation between nearly everything I did in the military and all the things that go along with being a franchisee,” Brown shared of his military background. “In the Air Force, and more specifically as a pilot, processes and checklists rule the day. They allow you to approach every task with clearly defined steps and standards, which ensures both efficiency and consistency regardless of who is performing the task. These principles seem to translate very well into the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system.”

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CFO Jeff Wesley said he’s grateful for the hardworking and dedicated veterans within the system.

“We are blessed to have a number of current owners with a military background. They are proven leaders who align with our core values and bring invaluable work ethic.”

With Brown’s location seeing a 98% customer referral rate, he is no exception.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. We are proud to be part of the VetFran network!  If you are interested in learning more about franchising with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® visit, twomenandatruckfranchising.com.

Third quarter results indicate a continuously strong year for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Written by Jessy Howe

We can’t help but feel proud of our system for the accomplishments that took place and goals surpassed in Q3. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees share a vision and aren’t afraid to work hard. There is a lot to celebrate as Q3 came to a close!

“The enthusiasm and momentum we built from a successful first half of the year continued into the third quarter, and has set us up to close out 2015 on a strong note,” said Randy Shacka, president of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®. “We have repeatedly surpassed our growth goals with continued investment in our infrastructure and striving for exceptional customer service ratings. These focuses will continue driving our momentum to accomplish our goals for the next few years.”

Record growth

The last 18 months boast double-digit increases with July being the second highest revenue month ever! In addition, we are pleased to have an average referral rate of 95% across the system.

“Our dedicated partners and teams are the reason we’re able to accomplish our growth goals,” said TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® CFO Jeff Wesley.

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Multi-Unit Franchisee Joey Hale was recognized as Franchisee of the Year by the International Franchise Association (IFA), a top honor among franchisees across the country. Hale, who has been with the system since 1998, began as a mover and driver in Knoxville, Tenn., and is now continuing to expand the brand on the West Coast in multiple cities in California.

“We are extremely proud of Joey and all he has done to continually represent greatness as a TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisee,” Shacka said. “He is a true testament to the caliber of franchisees in our system and he exemplifies all of the qualities we look for in potential TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchisees.”

Expanding the brand

Our newest franchisee, Fred Schaard, signed to open three TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® offices in Portland, Ore., one of our top development markets. Schaard is an experienced financial planner and is a great asset to the system.

“We know our company wouldn’t be great without the concentrated efforts from our franchisees and their teams to provide top-notch customer service, diligently working on the trucks and in our customers’ homes,” Wesley shared.

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To say the first-ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship program was a success would be an understatement.

Tampa, Fla., Franchise Manager Randi Bloodworth was announced as the first ever Mary Ellen’s Moving People Forward® scholarship winner and received the surprise of a lifetime when Mary Ellen presented her the $50,000 check. By March 2016, she will be expanding the brand into Pearland, Texas.

Two of the seven managers who were initially a part of the program IMG_20150929_125856078are now current franchisees, and the remaining participants were awarded $10,000 that will go toward opening their own franchise, as all of the managers plan to open their own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® location in the future.

We’re exceedingly proud of the entire TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® system for the continued dedication and constant hard work put in by each team member. We are excited for the accomplishments that will be made in Q4!

Visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com to learn more about franchising opportunities. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. Let us move your career forward. Consider investing in us and becoming a franchisee today!

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® celebrates second quarter success

At the close of this year’s second quarter, numerous milestones were achieved and records broken — we couldn’t be more proud of our system! All of these achievements would not be reached without the incredible TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® employees and franchisees throughout the country. As the biggest franchised moving company in the United States, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® continues to remember where they came from and how they can improve as a system.

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Thursday, June 11, was a spectacular day for our brand.

We opened our second corporate-owned franchise in Pasadena, Calif. Our first corporate-owned franchise is located in Lansing, Mich. Opening a corporate hub on the west coast was instrumental for our company’s future success. There are multiple TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchises in California, and having a location in Pasadena has opened the door to many additional opportunities for us. As TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® continues to expand throughout California and the entire West Coast, the Pasadena location will serve a significant role as the hub of our system in the West.

Breaking records

June was an astounding month for our system. For the first time ever, we conducted more than 50,000 moves in one month. This recomoverd-breaking month was a true testament to the hard work and dedication of our system, and puts us well on our way to 5.5 million moves over the course of the company’s existence.

The second quarter takes place in the heat of busy move season. Our employees put in extra time working late evenings, weekends, and sometimes holidays to serve our customers.

“The demand for our brand, and our reputation for customer service continues to propel us to record success. We are proud of our system and we’re thankful to our loyal customers for trusting us to help move them forward,” said CFO Jeff Wesley.

Overachieving system standards

Our commitment is to continuously strive to exceed our customers’ expectations in value and high standards of satisfaction. In April, May, and June, we had many franchises who did just that. Collectively, we had almost 20 percent of franchises have at least one month of perfect referrals for the second quarter.

Two franchises went above and beyond and ended second quarter with a 100 percent referral rating for three consecutive months. This means, two U.S. franchises had 100 percent of their customers say they would refer TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® to their friends and family.

Congratulations to TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Boston and TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Delaware South on your effort to continuously exceed your customers’ expectations!

We hit two remarkable milestones in June, and have enjoyed watching TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® continue its growth before our very own eyes. Everything ties back to our employees. It may be a bit bold, but we truly believe we have the most hardworking, professional staff. Whether you come in contact with a mover, driver, customer service representative, manager, franchisee, or employee at the corporate office, these are the people that continue making our gears spin, in turn making our brand so successful.

Franchising is extremely rewarding. If you’re interested in franchising with us, please visit twomenandatruckfranchising.com! TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchise moving company in the United States. Join the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® team to be part of something bigger.

What to know when reviewing a franchise agreement

So, you are investing in a new franchise business. Congratulations! At this point, you may be close to reviewing the franchise agreement where the franchisor grants you, as a franchisee, the right to be part of the system. The franchise agreement outlines the partnership between the franchisor and franchisee while providing outlines for how the business will be run. Before you sign the franchise agreement, be sure you are looking it over carefully and consider these points as you’re reviewing the document.

How long does the agreement last, and what are the terms of renewal? There is no specific time required for a franchise term, they usually range from five to 20 years. It’s important to verify whether the term of the agreement is long enough for you to recover your initial investment.

Do I have exclusive rights to the area I’m purchasing? There can be many different ways franchise companies divide territories, and territories don’t necessarily have to be exclusive. Be sure you know what you’re getting for your money.

What fees will I be charged? Common fees include an initial franchise purchase fee, a renewal fee, a transfer fee, royalties, advertising fees, technology fees, and training fees. In addition, franchisees may be required to use certain vendors at their own expense. Make sure you understand all fees and what they’re for when making financial projections.

Is the agreement negotiable? If the agreement is negotiable, this is a red flag. You should want the company’s franchise agreement to be uniform because you want your fellow franchisees to be required to operateFranchise Agreement by the same terms under which you are operating. This ensures the brand you are investing in retains its quality and grows its value. Uniformity of franchise agreements also gives franchisees more power as a group.

Is the agreement one-sided? It is pretty typical for franchise agreements to contain provisions which may seem favorable to the franchisor, such as the ability of the franchisor to make enforceable changes to policies at any time or broad termination clauses. By investing in a franchise, the most valuable asset you are getting is the brand. You do not want all of your hard work into your franchise to be undermined by the actions or inactions of a fellow franchisee. Franchise agreements must be strong to protect that investment.

Contracts are essential and the terms are important, but remember that good franchise systems are built on solid relationships. You want to be a part of a proven, successful system with happy franchisees. Talk to existing franchises within the system you are considering before pulling the trigger.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® is the first and largest franchised moving company in the United States. For information on starting your own TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® franchise and to access performance information which is available to prospective owners, click here.